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Offshore industry, beset by project deferrals, rig contract terminations, looks to standardization, reliability for long-term cost reductions

A 15k-psi subsea BOP stack is assembled in GE’s Houston BOP manufacturing high-bay facility.

Throughout 2015, the industry had remained hopeful that the downturn would be short-lived. During the summer, when oil prices temporarily buoyed, some believed that signaled that the market was on its way up again. However, prices trended downward after that, dipping below $40/bbl in the last quarter of the year. Many finally accepted the reality that this downturn would be lower for longer.

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Onshore drillers pull all available cost levers to economize wells

Precision Rig 580, drilling in the Niobrara Chalk, is a 1,500-hp rig with a maximum drilling depth of 20,010 ft.

Even at the end of 2015, there had been some small hope that there would be a slight recovery in oil prices by mid-2016, lifting onshore drilling activities somewhat higher later in the year. However, when oil prices sank below $30/bbl in January, such optimism faded. Instead, the fall further motivated cost-reduction efforts across the industry. Operators were pressured to continue cutting back on their rig count and to seek additional ways to enhance efficiency throughout the well construction process. Drilling contractors appear to be ridding themselves of older rigs and directing resources toward maintaining their newer, high-spec assets.

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IADC UBO/MPD Committee update: Additional RPs, RCD testing standards under way

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Promoting the safe and efficient execution of underbalanced operations (UBO) and managed pressure drilling (MPD) continues to be the primary objective of the IADC UBO/MPD Committee. Committee Chairman Per Cato Berg, Leading MPD Advisor for Statoil, provided an update on the committee’s work over the past year...

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Hand-picked components enable Marathon, ConocoPhillips to build fit-for-purpose MPD system for GOM project

MPD champions must continue to promote the technology’s benefits, as well as find ways to make it more economic, Kelly McHugh, General Manager of Drilling and Completions at Chevron, said at the SPE/IADC MPD and UBO Conference in Galveston, Texas, on 12 April.

In 2013, Marathon Oil and ConocoPhillips decided to retrofit the Maersk Valiant drillship for managed pressure drilling (MPD). Installation of the MPD equipment began in 2014, while the drillship made its way to the US Gulf of Mexico from the shipyard in South Korea.

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CNH, IADC discuss regulations for Mexico’s upstream industry

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Mexico’s National Hydrocarbon Commission (CNH) met with IADC on 9 March to obtain industry input on CNH’s regulatory priorities. Juan Carlos Zepeda Molina, the President Commissioner of CNH, said he hopes the cooperation between the two groups will help CNH to develop more robust regulations for Mexico’s upstream industry. In this video, filmed during CNH’s visit to Houston, Mr Zepeda outlines CNH’s goals for the coming year and its efforts to be a transparent and reliable organization that will earn the trust of the Mexican people. Read more about CNH’s plans and activities in the May/June issue of Drilling Contractor, due out the first week of May.

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IADC author Sweatman honored by AADE

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Ronald E. Sweatman, author of “Well Cementing Operations,” published in 2015 by IADC, was inducted into the American Association of Drilling Engineers (AADE) Hall of Fame on 12 April. Mr Sweatman was recognized “for his significant contributions to the advancement of cementing and other well services through patented technologies and numerous publications,” AADE stated. The induction occurred during the AADE 2016 National Fluids Technical Conference, held 12-13 April in Houston. “This is a great honor,” Mr Sweatman remarked. “I am very happy to know that my industry service and technical achievements have been appreciated by the AADE and others, like IADC, SPE and API.” “Well Cementing Operations” is the most comprehensive and in-depth treatment of cementing available. The book covers ...

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